Oh boy, there are so many thoughts coming to my mind thinking about writer’s block.
Is it part of procrastination or is it laziness?
What is writer’s block and how to overcome it?
You know what?
I also have heard that there is no such thing as writer’s block.
Does it mean that it is just a myth?
How come that sometimes, or even quite often, we just can’t get into the creative state of mind?
Let’s break it down, and check what writer’s block is, what are the main reasons for it and how to defeat it.
This entire website has been created by me, it is also monetized, but I don’t consider myself a great writer.
So if you just started your blog and you are facing the same issue (regarding writing), I am sure this short article will help you with your productivity.
Here is what you are going to find:
- Definition of Writer’s Block
- What Causes Writer’s Block?
- How to Overcome Writer’s Block? 3 Simple Steps
- Is It Real Or Just a Myth?
- My Personal Notes
Let’s get started with the fundamental question, and let’s define what it means.
Definition of Writer’s Block
You are familiar with the situation that you have scheduled a piece of content, but for some reason, you have not made it on a time.
In fact, you even remember how you postponed it, on a purpose, just to avoid the pain, that is associated with writing.
What is the problem?
Let’s check what writer’s block is.
According to Wikipedia, it is:
“Writer’s block is a condition, primarily associated with writing, in which an author is unable to produce new work or experiences a creative slowdown.”
Research shows that this is very common among most writers, whether we talk about bloggers, journalists, novelists, or even academic workers.
What Causes Writer’s Block?
What causes the condition where authors are unable to produce new content?
Is it a lack of experience?
There are many reasons and it varies from person to person. Here are the top 3 reasons why the author feels stuck.
1) Lack of Knowledge
One of the reasons that we don’t know how to start, could be a lack of knowledge about a certain topic, or some specifics within a certain niche.
This can happen to anyone, and this is a possible scenario:
First, for some reason, the assignment is postponed.
Then this person is “suddenly” under pressure and wants to write as much and as quickly as possible…but can’t.
The very first and basic stage, doing actual research, was neglected.
What to do?
Don’t rush it and get back to the research stage. Read, and watch videos related to your topic.
If you aren’t writing, it doesn’t mean, you are not working.
Collect information, and make short notes. You can either use pen and paper, or your laptop.
2) Low Self-Esteem
Another reason might be, that we don’t believe in ourselves, -> low self-esteem.
Meaning that we think that we are not good enough to produce valuable pieces of content.
As I was doing research for this article I found out that this applies to professional writers, journalists, internet marketers…
And it is actually a good thing.
Imagine a person who thinks that his writing abilities are the best and he or she doesn’t need any advice… let alone room for improvement.
This person avoids criticism and is not open to discussion.
Nobody is perfect, let alone such a narcissistic individual.
On the other hand, there are people who are afraid to write, afraid to share their thoughts with others.
This, another extreme brings more harm than good as well.
So it is important to find a balance.
With that being said, even if you start writing content and no one will like it, there is still room for improvement.
You can even ask your audience for feedback.
Based on such feedback you improve.
3) Too Many Ideas
On a contrary to the first one, it could be a lot of ideas coming to your mind.
Did you know that the human brain has more than 6,000 thoughts every day?
How do you expect that someone should focus on writing, for at least 3 to 4 hours a day?
It is very difficult, to calm the mind down.
That’s why it is recommended, before you even start writing, to sit down, close your eyes and focus on breathing.
Do it for 2 minutes, maybe 5 minutes. Then start thinking about the topic you are about to write, slowly open your eyes, and put the relevant information in your editor (or on the paper).
How to Overcome Writer’s Block?
Here are important tips for people that wish to write but for some reason feel stuck.
1) Do Nothing
This might sound easy, but in fact, it is an important first step.
Sit in front of the computer and do nothing
Close your eyes and concentrate on how you breathe.
Maybe at the beginning, try only 10 times breath in breath out.
What happens, it calms down your mind – your thoughts.
The thing is, you don’t want to have thousands of thoughts per minute when it comes to writing.
In the next stage, try to concentrate on what you are going to write.
Now that you are calm and ready to start, set the timer.
2) Set a Timer/Get Your Pen Moving
Set the time for 15 minutes and try to focus as much as possible on writing.
It doesn’t matter whether you use pen and paper, or you click on the keyboard.
Use bullet points.
This is a great technique.
As long as you write something, you are on the right track.
If you are in the 1st stage of your article, write “gibberish”.
That means, put your thoughts on the paper (so to speak), or inside your writing editor (Google Doc, WordPress editor, or whatever you use).
Make sure to write something.
Even if you don’t know what to write about, write about how you don’t feel like writing… mention your mood… write about the weather, or just how well you slept…
It doesn’t matter what you are writing about; the important thing is to start writing…something. Then you change it… write something again and eventually, you are done.
…here is a great quote:
“It’s simple, you just take something and do something to it, and then do something else to it. Keep doing this, and pretty soon you’ve got something.”
(Jasper Johns is an American painter, sculptor, and printmaker. The same principle can be applied to writing).
Thinking about the quote above – is there really something like writer’s block?
An Important Note:
Don’t worry about grammar or structure.
Once you are finished with the gibberish phase, take a break.
Step back and take a look. Start with corrections and try to make a sense of it.
If you are stuck with one headline, go to another one. You can even start with the conclusion. Whatever goes easier, start with that.
Again take a break.
Start with the final phase and polish the content.
You can even sleep on it and polish it the next day. After that, it is ready for publishing.
3) Writing Email to Your Friend
I assume that you are a person who started out with a blog. I mean you are not a professional writer who already published a book or two.
But even if you did, I believe this technique will help you to overcome the “block” and you will craft the text with ease.
Imagine you are writing an email to your friend about a certain topic.
I don’t know about you, but quite often I feel much more comfortable writing an email about some news to an actual person, than just crafting a text inside WordPress.
Maybe I know that a specific person will read it, which makes the writing more exciting.
So you can do the same.
And actually, it is quite possible that one of your friends will land on your site and will actually read it.
These three simple techniques should help you to overcome the so-called writer’s block.
Now let’s check what a professional has to say about how to overcome writer’s block.
Is It Real Or Just a Myth?
Now that you know how to overcome such a block, is it a real thing or just a myth?
Let’s assume that it is a perfect day, you have run 5 miles, so you feel awesome.
Being in such a state certainly helps to be concentrated.
You also have enough information, so there is nothing that can stop you for start writing.
Having such an ideal condition – is there something like writer’s block?
Most likely, you don’t see a reason why not to start writing.
Everything goes smoothly.
My point is, just get to the state that is as close to ideal conditions as possible.
Here are some tips that will diminish the block:
- Have a good sleep
- Take your time to study the topic
- Change the environment
- Take short brakes
- Go for a walk
- Pretend as if you have never written that content. Read it as a person that never seen it before.
- Change your position
Regarding the last tip, I was about to order a stand-up desk, but my fiancee found a cheaper and quite clever solution:
Or you can even take your laptop and go to the kitchen, or another room. You have no idea how much changing the working environment is powerful.
Do you have other tips?
Let us know in the comment section at the very bottom of this post.
Before We Wrap Up – My Personal Notes
Even crafting this piece, was for me a practical exercise.
As I was writing I often had to go for a short walk, or change the room, and sort out my thoughts.
empty the dishwasher and get back to the laptop to include a new idea.
Or deleted the one that was not relevant, or it was just redundant.
But I made it, despite the fact that I am sure there are many articles about writer’s block that are much better crafted.
So what? I still have room to improve this article. I can add some more information.
I am sure there will be comments below, maybe questions, so all these will make this article just better.
And here is another interesting fact.
The best ideas we have when we are actually not writing. In other words, sitting in front of the laptop, we try too hard and nothing comes to mind
Step away and ideas just start floating in your mind.
If you are not near your laptop, have a mobile and write it down or use a pen and a piece of paper.
How about now?
Still, feeling like you don’t know what to write about?
Remember that quote?
…Start with something and then do something to that?
Or heck, you can even start with the freewriting, as mentioned above, gibberish.
Crafting an article resembles sculpturing.
You start with the core, then you continue with the rough work and finally you focus on details.
What techniques do you use to overcome writer’s block?
Are there some tips and tricks that you use?
Please share in the comment section below.
Thanks a lot for reading, and also if you have questions let me know